Chef John Coleman walked the group through a few courses, beginning with fried calamari and shrimp and ending with a pretty medley of desserts to be shared. The restaurant is officially pegged as a gastropub, and that does mesh with its casual atmosphere and menu. But the decor feels minimalist and elegant.
Architect Thomas Phifer did the pavilion; Bill Johnson of the Johnson Studios in Atlanta did the interior. The restaurant is a chrome-and-glass stunner with an entire outer shell made of glass, to enable views of Klyde Warren Park.
Clad in white marble and pale wood, the guts of the restaurant — kitchen, wine storage, restrooms — form a core at the center. Dining spaces surround the center, with another circle of seating on the patios that ring the exterior. The bar forms a dramatic oval with a shelf of liquor bottles floating overhead.
One cool thing: There are three wines on tap, including a Chardonnay, Cabernet and rose, which Coleman happily predicted would significantly reduce the amount of waste.
Dishes sampled exemplified Coleman's approach of keeping things simple but good.
- A tomato-burrata salad had heirloom tomatoes, cubes of watermelon dusted with chile, soft burrata cheese and a green "mole" verde.
- Cornbread crab cakes were made from Jonah and blue crab, served with avocado, mango and pickled red onion slaw. A Thai curry sauce included corn puree that added sweetness and texture.
- Roasted salmon had been smoked and cured in bourbon; it came with fennel and apple chutney over a base of celery-root puree.
- Braised short rib was accompanied by cheddar mac and cheese, featuring ear-shaped orecchiette pasta.
Other menu items include deviled eggs, pork belly meatballs, flatbreads, salads, gnocchi, scallops, roasted chicken, and shrimp and grits. Prices range from $7 to $17 for shared plates and starters, and $19 to $27 for entrees.
Desserts by pastry chef Julie Vorce, who worked with Coleman at the Ritz-Carlton, are a crazy medley, served in mini form at $3 apiece, to be shared by the table. They include German chocolate cake, ice cream sandwich, pop tart, chocolate-peanut-butter pretzel bite, banana split, yuzu tart, spiced pumpkin trifle and crème brûlée.
For now Savor is open for dinner, with lunch hours coming in a few weeks.